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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR.
JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER, M.D., LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK;
AUTHOR OF A TREATISE ON HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY,' 66 A HISTORY OF
THE INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPE,” ETC., ETC.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
CONTAINING THE CAUSES OF THE WAR, AND THE EVENTS PREPARATORY TO IT,
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
THIS work is intended to be a history of the causes which led to the civil war, and of the events connected with it, considered not in a partisan, but in a philosophical and impartial spirit.
While I was writing a History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, my attention was often drawn to facts illustrating how much the national life of the American people had been influenced by uncontrollable causes, and how strikingly it exemplified the great truth that societies advance in a preordained and inevitable
I determined that, if circumstances should permit, I would devote myself to the study of the subject, and was confirmed in this resolution by the favor which was accorded to my work above mentioned, both here and in Europe. Meantime the civil war broke out, and added a new incentive to my intention.
For I saw that both in the Northern and Southern States public men were accusing one another with bitterness, each throwing the odium of responsibility on his antagonist, as if the war had not been connected with past influences and had no past history, but was the sudden result of the passions and fanaticism of the hour.
There seemed to be a forgetfulness of the fact that its origin dates before any of those who have been the chief actors in it were born. It came upon us in an unavoidable and irresistible way.
Now when we appreciate how much the actions of men are controlled by the deeds of their predecessors, and are determined by climate and other natural circumstances, our animosities lose much of their asperity, and the return of kind feelings is hastened.
While the tempest of war is raging, such ideas can not secure attention; but when peace succeeds, the voice of philosophy is heard
calming our passions, suggesting new views of the things about which we contended, whispering excuses for our antagonist, and persuading us that there is nothing we shall ever regret in fraternal forgiveness for the injuries we have received.
Can there be any thing more acceptable than the promotion of such a result? Attempts of this kind, though they may be imperfect, will, I am sure, for the sake of their object, find a warm welcome in the American heart.
With such resistless energy and such rapidity does the Republic march to imperial power, that social changes take place among us in a manner unexampled in the more stationary populations of Europe. There, public calamities are long remembered, and ancient estrangements are nourished for centuries. Here, perhaps in little more than a single generation, our agony will have been forgotten in the busy industry of a hundred millions of people, animated by new intentions, developing wealth and power on an unparalleled scale, and looking, as Americans always do look, only to the future, not to the past.
In writing this book I have endeavored to bear continually in mind the rules which Cicero prescribes for those who venture on historical compositions: "It is the first and fundamental law of history that it should neither dare to say any thing that is false, nor fear to say any thing that is true, nor give any just suspicion either of favor or disaffection; that, in the relation of things, the writer should observe the order of time, and add also the description of places; that in all great and memorable transactions he should first explain the counsels, then the acts, lastly the events; that in the counsels he should interpose his own judgment on the merit of them; in the acts he should relate not only what was done, but how it was done; in the events he should show what share chance, or rashness, or prudence had in them; that in regard to persons he should describe not only their particular actions, but the lives and characters of all those who bear an eminent part in the story."
It will be remarked that I have refrained from burdening my pages with many facts of American history, which, though they